AP: A federal judge on Monday ordered a temporary halt to deportations of immigrant families reunited after being separated at the border, as the Trump administration races to meet a July 26 deadline for putting more than 2,500 children back in their parents’ arms.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw imposed a delay of at least a week after a request from the American Civil Liberties Union, which cited “persistent and increasing rumours … that mass deportations may be carried out imminently and immediately upon reunification.”
Justice Department attorney Scott Stewart opposed the delay but did not address the rumors in court.
The ACLU requested that parents have at least one week to decide whether to pursue asylum in the U.S. after they are reunited with their children. The judge held off on deciding that issue until the government outlines its objections in writing by next Monday.
ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt told reporters that he was “extremely pleased” by the halt and that parents need time to think over with their children and advisers whether to seek asylum.
“It’s hard to imagine a more profound or momentous decision,” he said.
The hearing in San Diego occurred as the government accelerated reunifications at eight unidentified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement locations. The families are scattered around the country, the adults at immigration detention centers, the children at shelters overseen by the government.